HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

Behavioral Interview

What Is the Purpose of an Interview

The interview is an opportunity for employers to identify the best candidate for a role within their organization. Interviews differ depending on the position and often vary in length, formality, and style.

Though interviews may vary widely depending upon the position, the overall hiring process should be structured and standardized within your organization.

What Is a Behavioral Interview?

A behavioral interview involves asking questions about how a candidate handled a situation in their previous position and using it to evaluate how they’ll perform in the position you’re hiring for.

To elicit more detailed, structured responses, consider asking questions using the STAR method:

  • Specific—The question asks the candidate for a specific, real-world situation.
  • Task—The question asks the candidate to identify a particular task they had to complete.
  • Action—The question asks the candidate for information about the action they took in order to accomplish the task.
  • Results—The question asks the candidate to reflect on the results of their action.

Where Does an Interview Fit Within the Hiring Process?

The hiring process essentially breaks down into seven primary stages:

  1. Identify Need and Update Job Description
  2. Develop and Implement Recruitment Plan
  3. Screen Applicants
  4. Interview Candidates
  5. Check References
  6. Extend Offer
  7. Onboard New Hire

Although interviewing is in the middle of the overall hiring process, it’s near the end of the decision-making portion—when only the most qualified candidates compete for your extended time and attention. The hiring decision depends on these final interactions.

Related Terms: Group Interview

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